America’s Health Rankings

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Paul over at Healthy Reader wrote about the results of the United Health Foundation’s 2006 edition of “America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for People and Their Communities”. The report documents the lack of significant progress in improving health status, a trend they have been following since 2000. Nevertheless, the report concluded that America’s overall health improved slightly in 2006 [1].

Minnesota leads the list of healthiest states, followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii and Connecticut. Louisiana is at the bottom of the list and has consistently ranked 49th or 50th since 1990.

Four factors were used to determine the report findings: personal behaviors; the community environment that people live and work in; the quality, appropriateness and cost of care people receive at doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals; and public and health program policies indicating the availability of resources and the extent of reach into the general population.

Note that the scores presented indicate the percentage a state is above or below the national norm.

1 Minnesota 21.2
2 Vermont 20.5
3 New Hampshire 18.9
4 Hawaii 17.9
5 Connecticut 17.2
6 Utah 16.3
7 Massachusetts 15.3
8 North Dakota 15
9 Maine 13.7
10 Wisconsin 13.3
11 Iowa 12.5
12 Nebraska 12.4
13 Rhode Island 11.4
14 New Jersey 11
15 Washington 10.2
16 Colorado 8.9
17 Kansas 7.9
18 South Dakota 7.5
19 Idaho 6.5
19 Oregon 6.5
21 Virginia 5.7
22 Montana 4.9
23 California 4.7
23 Wyoming 4.7
25 Illinois 3.7
25 Ohio 3.7
27 Michigan 2.3
28 Pennsylvania 1.8
29 New York 1.1
30 Delaware -0.6
31 Alaska -0.8
32 Maryland -2.7
33 Indiana -3.7
34 Arizona -4
35 Missouri -4.1
36 North Carolina -4.3
37 Texas -4.7
38 Nevada -8.4
39 Kentucky -10.1
40 New Mexico -10.4
41 Florida -10.6
42 Georgia -11.7
43 West Virginia -12.8
44 Oklahoma -13.1
45 Alabama -14.8
46 Arkansas -16.1
47 Tennessee -16.2
48 South Carolina -16.4
49 Mississippi -19.9
50 Louisiana -20.4

Where does your state rank?

References

  1. The United Health Foundation’s 2006 edition of “America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for People and Their Communities”.
About the Author

Walter Jessen is a senior writer for Highlight HEALTH Media.